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Rio Ferdinand , Bobby Zamora ,Mark Noble & housing minister Brandon Lewis launch a new scheme to build thousands of affordable homes across UK







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Property and football joined teams in Cannes today as former England captain Rio Ferdinand football legend [centre photo] and housing minister Brandon Lewis [far right] launched a new scheme to build thousands of affordable homes across the country.



[R to L] Former England Captain Rio Ferdinand supported by star footballers Mark Noble and Bobby Zamora

The ex-Manchester defender and fellow football stars Mark Noble [above right] and Bobby Zamora [above left] have clubbed together to set up Legacy, a charity designed to create sports-led mixed use regeneration schemes with McLaren as development partner and 
Construction & Property Consultants, Stace LLP , Colliers   International - UK  as an real estate adviser. KSS Design Group Architecture and Design, kssgroup.com based in London.


football legend Rio Ferdinand presenting the new housing venture today at MIPIM Cannes, South of France, with Brandon Lewis UK housing and Planning Minster.  



The foundation, set up by commercial real estate firm Colliers International, is already backed by Aviva and aims to build new housing developments with 45% social housing.

The scheme, which uses a leaseback model, has already been picked by Central Bedfordshire Council which will build a 1,000-home development using the funding.

Central Government is driving an agenda for change in the way that social housing is funded and managed. This draft paper sets out our initial proposals for responding to this change, to be consulted on later in the year: Housing Green Paper (PDF 2.4MB) .


It will see private investors fund the development, with 55% of the homes built for market rent and all the rents paid directly to the local authority.

The council will own the freehold on the properties and will grant the investors a 45-year lease. It will pay the investors rent over that period to provide a return on the investment. Developer McLaren will be the development partner.


John Gatley, managing director, McLaren Property said: “We are very pleased to have been asked to join the Legacy team and to help deliver The Foundation’s initiative of maximising the social and affordable element of its major residential led developments.


Launching the scheme today alongside housing minister Brandon Lewis, Rio Ferdinand said the drive was borne out of his experience of growing up on an estate in south London.“I’ve taken my kids back to the estate I grew up on and its just a ghost town – there’s no community anymore.
Obviously we want to build homes and get people off housing lists and help make a difference in that area, but also its about building communities.”

The schemes will provide onsite community, sporting and youth facilities as well as schools and surgeries to support the local community.


Legacy Foundation Rio Ferdinand ,Bobby Zamora ,Mark Noble


 The homes will be exempt from the government’s policy of forcing councils to sell off high value council homes as a result of the leaseback structure for at least 45 years.

Lease and leaseback deals have been developed in the sector before, with limited appetite as social landlords have been reluctant to take on the full rental risk.


Ferdinand, who grew up in a council estate in Peckham, south London, said he wanted to find a way to make a difference to communities and improve the life chances of children growing up in similar areas to those in which he was raised in.


The Rio Ferdinand Foundation and the work we do

"We haven’t spoken about our plans before but we now feel that we have the right team in place and the financial backing to make the dream a reality," he told delegates at MIMP international real estate show conference Europe.




Legacy will work with local authorities to build social and affordable housing as well as building schools, surgeries and sporting facilities to support the local community.

The local authorities will hold onto the land in exchange for Legacy receiving an annual income.

It has struck its first two deals has struck a deal with authorities in Newham and Bedford for 1,800 homes and 1,100 homes respectively.




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Ferdinand said: "We will work with major private sector investors to devise a scheme that is both affordable and, indeed, accessible for all."

"The model can deliver schemes without the Local Authority needing to finance the cost of the build programme whilst giving full occupancy and control when completed.




Sports Leadership Award - Rio Ferdinand Foundation


"We want to work closely with Local Authorities and Central Government to understand precisely what is required in their area and look to deliver a scheme that will empower communities for generations."





We look forward to really making a difference in the future provision of homes in and for the community.”





Rio Ferdinand Presents #5 Magazine


Further Reading